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I Have Never...

Friday, March 11, 2005

2nd Dress Rehearsal (With Audience) - Thursday 10th

Tonight was the first time with an audience. We’d persuaded 11 volunteers (mainly my work colleagues) to come along and see the show and pass their comments.

There was lots of last minute running around, I left warm up duties to Emma on the whole. I spent quite a while working with the sound and lighting guys just to check that they were all happy.

We started the run at about 7.47pm.

There were a couple of blips, but nothing major. We have a show! I couldn’t help laughing a couple of times, and came very close to tears again around Chris’s scene and the Ending. How can a show that we have been solidly working on for six weeks STILL have the capacity to emotionally effect me?

The following notes emerged from my discussion with the audience (focus group?) afterwards…

- In some of the scenes it will be better for the game to be played as a full circle rather than a semi circle.
- They need to die slower in the torture scene.
- More projection of voice throughout (I noted this for tomorrow’s warm up).
- They loved Duncan doing the heart beat
- Perversely, despite a couple of stories being inaudible, the audience liked that, and thought it was intentional. However, for Raf & Sidrah we took the time to re-record their pieces after the run.
- The mouthing of the chorus during the dance needs to be more defined, and the progression through the three couples needs to gradually build up.
- Though the salt worked fine from a distance as flour, up close it was obviously salt. Washing powder may be the only option…
- Instead of Amanda just saying ‘I Have Never Danced’, suggestions were ‘Dirty Danced’ or ‘Slow Danced’.
- The orange game at the start was too long. Now we’ll go around the oranges 3 times, balloons 5 times and then into pass the parcel, with 3 unwraps.

However, it was clear to me that the audience had been wowed. Charlotte, my boss, said to me that we had completely changed her mind about 'Abstract Physical Theatre' (her description). She would NEVER have expected to enjoy it, but she did. High praise indeed. My boss doesn't change her mind easily...

The cast were clearly excited, too. Duncan sent me an email telling me that he had not got to sleep until 4.30am. I answered the twelve questions he sent me by email as follows…

Don't worry, they'll be off/on vibrate only. That idea is going to be slightly different, or we may not use it at all. I'm going to chat to Michelle tonight. Also, the 'carbirth' is to be scrapped. We've not tried it out and it's kinda superfluous now.

Agree. You guys need to get around behind her. Feel free to chat with her tonight.

The preset is all you guys. Just as when you actually play the game in the show, the important thing is that you PLAY. It would be nice to establish a recurring motif, but I'm not averse to variations like pint pulling...

I think... full circle for pass the parcel, until it gets to Lucy and the parcel reveal, when we need to see the Ferris Wheel.

Full circle for Ya Ya Ya
Full Circle for Yak Yak Yak
Half Circle for Blah Blah Blah
Half Circle for Yadda Yadda Yadda
Half Circle for Rugger Rugger Rugger
Most of circle for ... ... ... (Leaving the space for the Nicki light)
Full Circle for Da Da Da

We've played it both ways. Your 'bed' needs to be fairly central so that there is room to go behind, but also room at front to do the sky diving.

It's really nice that there is a natural pause there. Everyone who has seen that scene needs a couple of moments to recover, it's a bit of a tear jerker. I'd like him to come back on with Sidrah, though, rather than gesturing everyone into the space.

If it can be organised for someone to empty it into a bucket off stage while your scene is occuring, then I'm fine for that to happen. Part of me quite likes the fact that Becky will have to be more careful with it, though. It is a baby in that scene after all, and she will be more conscious of how she holds it tonight...

Yes. I think that will make it easier for that seating rig to see the main point of action.

That's down to Raf. He needs to do the first Da Da Da as it's after his scene. I don't think he'll forget to leave tonight. However, if you do end up going off as a pair, then Chris and Sidrah should mirror that.

I'd also still like the rows of shoes to be left... even if they are smelly. We'll practice it tonight before the show. Who can get their shoes off fastest? Michelle will also be plugging in the Dictaphone at the end.

I don't think Sidrah needs reminding about that note anymore. She is not likely to forget it again after Tuesday's performance. Embarrassment usually etches a moment in people's mind. However, if it makes you feel safe, I'd suggest Chris have a copy, so the note starts and ends with him.

That sounds fine to me. So long as you are bunched up out of audience eye line for Amanda & Chris's movement motif.

Roll on first night!

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